In a first, Swedish PM ousted after losing trust vote

In a first, Sweden’s centre-right parties and the far-right Sweden Democrats ousted the country’s prime minister, Stefan Löfven,  above, in a no-trust vote after the September 9 elections resulted in a hung parliament.

A total of 204 lawmakers voted against Löfven in the 349-member parliament on Tuesday. 142 voted for Löfven and three MPs were not present during the vote.

Löfven will remain the caretaker prime minister until a new coalition is formed within weeks or months.

Given a choice, Löfven wishes to continue serving the country as prime minister. He wants to leave bloc politics behind and take the country forward.

Löfven’s centre-left bloc secured 144 seats while the centre-right bloc got 143 seats in the elections.

Parliamentary speaker Andreas Norlén is expected to hold government formation talks with leaders of the eight parties represented in Sweden’s Riksdag or national legislature.

Norlén may meet Ulf Kristersson, leader of the Moderate party that leads the centre-right Alliance opposition.

The broad political coalition Kristersson is eyeing for may evade him despite the backing from Centre, Liberal and Christian Democrat parties. This means he will have to seek the support of either centre-left or Sweden Democrats to cobble together a coalition government.

Moderates face risk if they accommodate anti-immigrant and neo-Nazi Sweden Democrats in the new government. Sweden Democrats, the third largest group, will withdraw support to any government which goes against its hard-line views on immigration and crime.

The speaker can make four attempts at helping parties form a coalition government. If they fail, fresh elections have to be called.

Löfven’s centre-left coalition of Social Democrats and Greens had been ruling Sweden since 2014 with informal support from the Left Party.